Quantcast
×

Sardinia vs. Amsterdam: Which Is the Best City for a Long and Happy Life?

From daily biking to tending flocks of sheep for cardio, the two locations are ideal for those looking to live longer.

Sardinia vs. Amsterdam Sipa/Drahoslav Rami/AP

“You and I are gonna live forever,” sang English rock siblings Oasis—but it would have been nice if the Gallaghers had slipped in a verse about how. Turns out, where you live might be the key. Sardinia was the first area in the world to be declared a “blue zone,” where people lead exceptionally long lives. Meanwhile, studies have declared Amsterdam the world’s fittest city. If you enjoy life and want more of it, where should you head? Here’s what you need to decide.

 

Sardinia

Amsterdam

WHY YOU MIGHT GO ON AND ON. AND ON.

Researchers studying longevity discovered that Sardinia had the world’s highest concentration of men who lived to be 100. In Sardinia there is an even ratio of male to female centenarians, whereas in the US there are five times as many women.

WHY YOU MIGHT GO ON AND ON. AND ON.

Studies that compare factors including number of gym memberships, obesity rates, percentage of people who bicycle to work, hours of sunshine and amount of public green spaces ranked Amsterdam top of the healthy cities.

DIET

Disappointingly for antiaging pizza lovers, Sardinians mostly stick to a diet of whole-grain bread, vegetables and beans with only small amounts of meat and fish.

Whole grain bread

Stock Adobe

DIET

Bread with various toppings for breakfast, a small sandwich for lunch and then a rewarding meat dish with vegetables for dinner.

SECRET WEAPON

Many Sardinians carry a rare genetic marker called M26, which scientists believe supports longevity. Centuries of isolated island living have helped keep this gene in the population.

SECRET WEAPON

The Dutch are one of the top five happiest nations—whereas Italy ranks only 31st. Conclusion: Cannabis is more fun than pasta.

Cannibus from Amsterdam

2H Media/Unsplash

SAY CHEESE

Pecorino is the most popular, but Sardinia boasts the world’s most dangerous cheese, casu marzu, which contains live insect larvae. It’s illegal to sell, and eating it risks the bugs burrowing into your stomach. If you have the courage to tuck in, staring down the Grim Reaper will seem like child’s play.

Casu Marzu displayed at the Disgusting Food Museum in Sweden

Johan Nilsson/AP

SAY CHEESE

Gouda. It’s great on a cheeseburger, in mac and cheese and for grilled cheese sandwiches. Less good on waistlines. But it has no live creatures inside.

Gouda Cheese

Stock Adobe

ELIXIR OF YOUTH

Cannonau Wine

Many Sardinians drink a few glasses of their local vino every day. Cannonau (aka Grenache) has high levels of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants.

Cannonau Wine

Supplied

ELIXIR OF YOUTH

Heineken

Amsterdam loves its hometown brew, and some science says beer has as many antioxidants as wine, may build stronger bones and increases your brain power. That’s why they have trivia nights at bars, not libraries.

Heineken Beer

Dave Weatherall/Unsplash

DAILY WORKOUT

Why is the mountainous center of Sardinia where the most centenarians are found? Because long before SoulCycle, there was shepherding. Walking more than five miles a day over rugged terrain while tending the flock is great cardio.

Flock of Sheep in Sardinia

Stock Adobe

DAILY WORKOUT

It’s a flat city in a flat country, so Amsterdammers bike everywhere. Over 45 percent use two wheels instead of four to go back and forth from work every day. They’re getting cardio while you’re stuck in traffic.

Bicycles in Amsterdam

AP Images

FINAL COUNTDOWN

So how many people are actually living to 100 here? An impressive 33.6 for every 100,000 inhabitants. Beat that, Amsterdam.

FINAL COUNTDOWN

Cycling to work and beer can do only so much. The Netherlands averages 10.4 centenarians for every 100,000 people. Looks like it’s a one-way ticket to Italy’s second-largest island.

Read More On:

More Destinations